“Date night” and “financial planning” are two things you might not usually put together. However, with a little planning and an open mind, a money date night can be responsible and romantic.
Not convinced? Here are some reasons you should incorporate money talk into your usual date night plans:
Plan a Money Date Night – Because Money Matters
Money may not be everything in a relationship – but it is a BIG thing. It is often cited as one of the top reasons for divorce, and money problems can add a lot of stress and tension to a relationship.
One major reason for this is that people often have different money styles, i.e. one person is more security-focused, while the other is more spontaneous. Problems arise when people don’t understand each other’s money habits – and their own.
If you know how you and your partner tend to approach money, you can work to balance each other out. But the only way to get there is by communicating regularly.
Talk Through Your Money Mindset
Many people rarely talked about money with their parents, and if they did, it was portrayed in a negative or stressful light. So willingly talking through the good, the bad and the ugly sides of your finances probably doesn’t sound appealing.
But when you’re in a relationship, it’s a perfect time to become more conscious about how and why you’re handling your finances.
It might not always be comfortable, especially if you know you or your partner hasn’t been the best at managing finances. But it’s never too late to start building good habits together.
Strengthen Your Relationship
For some people, money is a sore subject. It’s where they feel vulnerable or carry a lot of stress. They might not talk to anyone about money – ever. So talking about your financial goals, plans and concerns can strengthen your relationship in unexpected ways.
Getting on the same page about your finances and working through your problems means you can move forward as a team, and get excited about your future.
How to Plan a Money Date Night
Now that you know the why, let’s talk about how to plan a money date. I highly recommend actually planning a time to sit down and talk, because otherwise, money conversations tend to happen when one person is feeling concerned or stressed, and the other is defensive.
Planning it out means you can both come prepared.
Here are some dos and don’ts:
- Do have an end goal in mind. Are you going to decide on a budgeting program? Set some goals? Make a list of financial planners to talk to? Make it a fairly simple goal to get you started.
- Do make it fun. Maybe you’ll go over your budget with a glass of wine, and reward yourselves with ice cream and Netflix when you’re done. Or you’ll take a walk around your favorite park with a cup of coffee. If money talk isn’t your favorite thing, find a way to make it a bit more appealing.
- Don’t blame or criticize. Both of you should go into these discussions with as open a mind as possible. Neither of you is perfect, but both of you do have strengths that could help you create a strong, healthy financial situation.
- Do focus on what’s working. This shouldn’t all be about what’s going wrong in your money life. What are either or both of you doing that’s good? What do you have to be proud of? Use that to encourage each other as you move forward.
- Do think beyond the typical money talk. Treat your money date night like a book club. If you’re unsure of how to start having regular money talks with your partner (that isn’t a fight,) try reading books together or finding a new podcast to listen to. As you discuss what you learned, agreed with, or didn’t agree with, you’re going to gain insights into both your partner’s money style and your own. This can be a jumping off point for many more fun and important discussions, money-related or not.
- If you have kids, don’t forget to involve them in your money talks! How money is approached when you’re young can be extremely impactful, so think about including them in budget discussions or goal planning.
- Do make your money date nights a regular occurrence. Aim for at least once a month so you can check in regularly and bring up any concerns or questions before they become problems.
Planning a money date night doesn’t have to be complicated or intimidating. The goal is to create a money “safe zone” where you both feel comfortable talking about your finances and planning for the future. It’s a great way to get on the same page and work together on your big money goals.
About Your Richest Life
At Your Richest Life, Katie Brewer, CFP®, believes everyone should have access to financial resources and coaching. For more information on the services offered, contact Katie today.